“…That Allah might…purge
what is in your hearts.”
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
What has happened to the human heart? Why has it become so cold and unfeeling? Why is there so much deceit, corruption and lawlessness in the entire world today? No area or people is excluded, and even seemingly good religious people are not exempt from participating in such activities. This heart problem is not physical in nature, but it is certainly a sickness or disease that can be fatal. Also, where did this deadly disorder or disease originate? Did Allah possibly make the human heart corrupt? Or did men choose to have it that way? These are some of the questions for which we seek answers.
We know that Allah will give us answers from the Holy Books which were sent down. Before opening the sacred pages of the Holy Books, it is extremely wise to ask for counsel from One (Allah) who alone is able to give us correct understanding.
Our first ayat from the Honored Qur’an is: “It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) [Taurat] and the Gospel (of Jesus) [Injeel] before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).” Sura 3.3 Aal-E-Imran.
The Honored Qur’an tells us that the Law (Taurat) and the Gospel (Injeel) serve humanity as a guide. Allah has given light and guidance in what the honored Qur’an calls “Allah’s Book,” which refers to the Taurat of the Bible Scriptures that was given to Moses. Sura 5.44 Al-Maeda. However, Allah did not stop there. He also gave us the Injeel (Gospel) as guidance, light, and admonition, confirming what was sent previous in the Law or “Allah’s Book.” Allah’s Book has the answers we need to these difficult questions. We find that the Honored Qur’an again and again points us to the Holy Books of the Bible Scriptures (Sura 3.3; Suras 5.44-48; Suras 21.48-49).
How the Human Heart Became Diseased
Many of you know of the story of Adam, the first human created by Allah. The entire account is recorded in the Taurat (Genesis 1:26-31). Allah had created Adam and his wife perfect and holy. He placed them in a beautiful garden-- lovely beyond anything we have ever seen. The holy pair enjoyed the bliss and tranquility of that blessed place. Nothing disturbed their peace there. Their natures were pure; their thoughts were holy. In this beautiful garden Allah gave them all needful things to make and keep them happy. They were given unrestricted access to all the many and varied trees; they could eat from all which were for food… except one. Only one tree was withheld from them. They were forbidden to eat from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in the midst of the garden. Taurat Genesis 2:15-17 reveals Allah’s instructions to them: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
This prohibition was simply a test to see if man could be trusted. All went well for that holy pair in the garden of bliss-- until they disobeyed. They yielded to the temptations of the serpent, and the command of Allah not to eat from the forbidden tree was violated. “In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced.” Sura 20.121 Ta-Ha.
Thus the holy pair fell. Because of his disobedience, Adam’s thoughts were no longer naturally pure, as they once were. Instead, they became evil. From that fateful day to ours, disobedience toward Allah, which is sin, has cursed the human race. Since we all are the children of Adam, his descendants, we have inherited his fallen nature. The Taurat tells us our true condition: “The [human] heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
How Healing Comes
We thus know our hearts (minds) cannot be trusted; we cannot look within ourselves, thinking we can improve our human nature ourselves. We would deceive ourselves and continue to sin. No human power can remedy the sin condition in the heart of man; we are helpless to change ourselves. But is man left without hope? Not at all. Allah, in His mercy and compassion toward us, does not leave man in this hopeless condition. Allah has promised help. Read for yourself these comforting words: “…That Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. For Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts.” Sura 3.154 Aal-E-Imran.
It is Allah who takes the initiative to help man. Allah is continually pressing upon the human heart the need for cleansing from the defilement of sin. However, man must desire this purging, this cleansing, from Allah. Man must ask Allah for it, and seek for it with all his ability.
How is this cleansing of the human heart accomplished and through whom? The Honored Qur’an talks about One who was sent down from Allah—One special person who was nearest to Allah. His name was Isa al-Masih Ibn Maryam. “Behold! the angels said: ‘O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.’” Sura 3.45 Aal-E-Imran.
We read that Isa al-Masih, when He was sent to this earth, went about having compassion upon the people, healing their physical diseases. Could it be that this One sent down from Allah could also heal the disease of the heart? Could Allah also have a solution to this problem of evil and sin in the human heart? The Injeel reports that all who went to Isa al-Masih for healing of physical and mental problems received help. Not one was turned away. We read in the Holy Books (Injeel) Mark 1:41: “And Jesus [Isa al-Masih], moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him [one with leprosy], and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” Could it be that Allah also has made available to us the cure for the disease of the human heart through the same person of Isa al-Masih? The Injeel tells us it is so. In 1John 1:7 we read, “But if we walk in the light, as he [Isa al-Masih] is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ [Isa al-Masih] his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Can We Have the Cleansing Now?
This cleansing we can experience here and now. You see, Allah knows what is in our sinful hearts. He knows of every evil act, word or thought, whether it be lying, dishonesty, adultery or any other sin. And Allah is seeking even now to cleanse us from these evil habits and practices that hold us in the iron grips of sin. Allah has the solution and has promised to release us from this malady of sin. That is why Isa al-Masih is called the “Messiah,” the “Saviour” from sin. Not only did Isa pay the ransom for sin, but also this Person sent from Allah has promised to give us new hearts, to cure the disease in our fallen, corrupt hearts. We receive help only by going to Allah and to Him whom Allah sent down. Again from the Injeel, in 1Timothy 2:5-6: “For there is one God, and one mediator [Shafi] between God and men, the man Christ Jesus [Isa al-Masih]; Who gave himself a ransom for all….”
How Thorough Is This Heart Purging?
This cleansing affects even our very thoughts!
2 Corinthians10:5 (Injeel) says, “Casting down imag- inations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God [Allah], and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ [Isa al-Masih].” Imagine even our very thoughts purged! What relief, what joy, what blessing!
The Injeel reports in Acts 3:26 that “unto you first [Israelites] God having raised up his Son Jesus [Isa al-Masih] sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities [sin].” Long ago, people didn’t want such a Saviour; they chose instead to remain in sin and to retain the disease of the fallen heart. In fact, in those days, the men who proclaimed this message of freedom were hated by the Jews—so much so that many were put into prison and even put to death. Such was the hatred against those who accepted Him whom Allah had sent to this earth.
Fearlessly, though, did the followers of Isa al-Masih speak and declare that “neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Injeel Acts 4:12. With all respect and due consideration, then, is it any wonder that the Honored Qur’an speaks of the Injeel, that it was the “gospel” or good news which was sent down from Allah through Isa al-Masih? Why would the Honored Qur’an mention Isa al-Masih specifically by name in fifteen suras, as well as refer to him over ninety times? Surely the news in the Injeel is “glad tidings from Allah.” Sura 3.45 Aal-E-Imran.
How Your Heart Can Receive the Blessing
The old heart of sin finds no human cure. Try as we might with good deeds, by giving to the poor, and by praying often and long, we cannot purge our hearts or lives. Even washing our bodies will only clean the outsides, and soon they will be defiled again through sweat and dust. But Allah’s cleansing is much deeper. His cleansing reaches to the heart, which represents the mind, the seat of the will. Allah alone has promised to cure our diseased hearts by granting us new hearts. Taurat Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I [Allah] will take away the stony [hard and corrupted] heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
How can we receive these “new hearts”? Simply by asking Allah! Go to Him in private prayer (du’a) or when you are in the mosque. Allah is gracious, kind, and compassionate toward all the children of men, yet He does not force Himself upon us. He has said in the Honored Qur’an: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” Sura 2.256 Al-Baqara.
Allah will not impose Himself upon us. That is because He wants willing followers that choose His ways. Therefore, He must be asked. Each individual alone must make that decision to ask. Man must choose who will be his Master-- either Allah, through Isa al-Masih, or Satan [Iblis] the fallen one, who is a great deceiver. All the powers of heaven are involved with helping you make the best decision. Ask today! Take hold of that “most trustworthy hand-hold.”
Text Copied from DivineIslam's Qur'an Viewer software v2.913. Bible texts taken from the King James Version.
“That Allah might …purge your hearts.”
R. M. Harnisch
Series no. 05